Written by Guest Contributor, Jillian Love
Shakti Fest, a 3-day event in the Joshua Tree Desert that celebrates the devotional paths of yoga, kirtan (sacred music) and meditation, places a special emphasis on the divine feminine. While there are many interpretations of what a festival devoted to the divine feminine can be, the one that had the most impact on me was the celebration of sacred mother. Shakti is the creative energy of the universe— what more powerful creative energy is there to bring a new life into body here on this planet? This year Shakti Fest occurred over Mother’s Day weekend, which had me moved and inspired by the number of mother and child duos that had chosen to spend the Mother’s Day holiday together at this special event.
One particular duo that caught my attention was two women on neighboring yoga mats in Govind Das and Radha’s yoga class. My guess was that they were related, as they were similar looking yet slightly different ages. There was an opportunity about mid-way through the class for those so inclined to move into a headstand pose. Headstands are not my forte, so I took this opportunity to look around and watch others in the class. It was at this time that I noticed the two women both doing handstands and playfully mirroring one another. I was amused by the energy they shared. I later went over to share what a pleasure it was to watch their connection and joy, and learned that they were mother and daughter and this event is an annual ritual for them. A Shakti magic moment for sure.
Another special Shakti moment occurred in Shiva Rea’s yoga class as we circled our mats to practice around a mandala in the center of the room. A little 5-year-old boy, the son of one of the women in the class, decided his place was to sit right in the middle of the circle. Inadvertently, he became the absolute center of attention for the entire class. I could feel the room glow with love and appreciation as his innocence gently unlocked the feeling of the divine mother in all of us. You don’t have to be a mom, or even a woman, to love Shakti Fest. Something that has Shakti is alive and luminous. It definitely felt like a celebration of life at Shakti Fest, from the dharma talks, to the music, and to the smiling eyes and happy faces of everyone there. Yoga teacher Kia Miller said, “Shakti Fest is dedicated to the divine feminine that dwells within all of us, which celebrates the devotional path that has its roots in yoga, kirtan, and meditation. It embraces ancient and modern sacred wisdom and traditional and non-traditional spiritual practices. The festival is a vehicle for the evolution of human consciousness through a heart-centered revolution.”
My three days at Shakti Fest were spent loving my body through yoga, healthy food, kirtan, dancing and deep dives into inspiring workshops with powerful teachers. I left feeling deeply nurtured with a rekindled connection to my own divine feminine and the feminine nature I share with all women. Shakti Fest is fuel for spiritual growth and the awakening of consciousness. It reminds us why we come together, why we practice, and that yoga and chanting make us feel whole, while also giving us the opportunity to experience ourselves as part of something greater. Shakti Fest is not to be missed.